This past weekend, Uncommon Sports Group hosted seventeen of its Academy graduates in Indianapolis, IN, for an Impact Weekend. USG offers a fully funded Impact Weekend for every individual who completes the eight-week virtual USG Academy. These weekends provide Academy graduates with the opportunity to put what they have learned in the virtual Academy into action, as well as networking with present leaders of the college and pro sport industry, fellowshipping with other Christians in sports, and being challenged to grow in their walk with Christ.
Our weekend in Indianapolis began on Friday, April 21st, at our group hotel with introductions and Gallup CliftonStrengths activities. Each USG Academy participant is required to take the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment to help them further understand their gifts and abilities and how they can best utilize them in their career and life. These strengths activities encourage our group to get to know one another better before we jump into the weekend activities. After we completed our introductory events, our group trekked to Butler University for a tour of the school’s athletic facilities. Our group was hosted by Butler’s Assistant Athletic Director of Business Development, Jamie Ingram. Jamie provided an exceptional tour of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, the athletic department, team locker rooms, and Butler’s Sellick Bowl. Our group was able to see the inner workings of a Division I athletic department, as well as learning directly from Jamie and her experience in the role she’s in. We closed our time at Butler with Jamie sharing her faith journey with us, and how she has incorporated her faith into her work at Butler. Our group was encouraged and challenged by Jamie’s message and were able to see that it is possible to live out your faith in a secular work environment. We closed our Friday night with a social event at Top Golf. We were able to spend time at the social with our Indianapolis area USG members, as well!
We began Saturday morning with a group Bible study through Acts 2:42-47. Every Impact Weekend, we study this portion of Scripture to give our participants a visual of what the early church was like, and how we as Christians should be living amongst one another today. After Bible study, we walked across the street to the Indiana Pacers practice facility for a tour led by the team’s Manager of G-League and International Scouting, Hansen Wong. Hansen provided us with insight into how an NBA front office operates
and the operation within the team facility. We ended the tour by having Hansen share his career story with us and doing a short Q&A with him. After the Pacers tour, we headed out to Greenwood, IN, to link up with a church in the area called Revive the World Ministries. We partnered with Revive the World for a local gospel outreach event at a mall in Greenwood. The staff at Revive the World gave our group a short outreach training prior to heading out to the local mall. Once we made our way out to the mall, we split out into groups of two and prayed over individuals in the mall,
shared the gospel, and blessed those we encountered. Certainly, outreach can be an uncomfortable experience, but it was amazing to see how our group was encouraged and equipped to continue reaching out to people as they head back to their communities. When we got back to the hotel, we put our participants through “huddle groups”, which consisted of a prayer session, a Discovery Bible study (DBS) session, and a professional development session. Each of our staff members led a session with small groups of our participants. The prayer group challenged everyone to consider their prayer life and how they can use prayer to grow closer to Christ, the DBS session equipped our individuals to start a Bible study in their own communities and organizations, and the professional development session provided our participants with an opportunity to learn about the importance of handwritten notes. We wrapped up Saturday night with dinner and a short commissioning session over the Parable of the Sower.
Our final day in the Circle City closed with church at Traders Point Christian Church and team fellowship over lunch. Each participant is officially a member of Uncommon Sports Group because of their completion of the Impact Weekend, and we’re encouraged by the ways that God grew each individual over the course of the weekend. We’re grateful for our Clean Out For A Cause donors for their generosity and making events like these possible. As we send these new USG members out, we’re confident that they are prepared and equipped to be lights for Christ within the college and pro sport industry.